Technocracy

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URL = http://www.technocracy.ca/

Contents

Definition

"Technocracy is a proposal for a steady-state, post-scarcity economic system. It is intended for industrialized nations with sufficient natural, technological, and human resources to produce an economic abundance. Primarily this refers to the continent of North America, but may also apply to other areas today as well if they have acheived certain minimum criteria." (http://www.technocracy.ca/simp/begin.htm)


Description

"The use of energy as a unifying concept for social, political and economic analysis reached a zenith with the technocratic movement in the USA and Canada during the 1930s. Led by the flamboyant and energetic Howard Scott, the Technocracy movement began in 1918 as a group called the Technical Alliance. The Alliance conducted an industrial survey of North America in which economic parameters were measured in energy units rather than dollars. Although the Alliance lasted only a few years, the Depression provided fertile ground for the re-emergence of the technocratic movement which used depressed economic conditions as a rallying point for their call for a complete overhaul of existing economic and political institutions. In 1921, Howard Scott and others formed Technocracy, Inc., and in conjunction with the Industrial Engineering Department at Columbia University, began an empirical analysis of production and employment in North America in energy units. The association with a prestigious university like Columbia combined with Scott’s flamboyant relationship with the press made Technocracy internationally famous.

Technocrats believed that politicians and businessmen could not manage a complex, rapidly advancing industrial society. The technocrats proposed replacing politicians with scientists and engineers who had the technical expertise to manage the economy. This would allow social and economic institutions to reap the full benefits technological progress had made possible. With technical trained people making decisions, the Technocrats saw no physical limitations on expanding industrial output. They favored the continual replacement of labor with capital and energy, realizing as did Podolinsky and Soddy that empowering labor with greater quantities of fuel increased the productivity of labor.

The technocratic philosophy assumed that energy was the critical factor determining economic and social development. The Technocrats measured social change in physical terms: the average number of kilocalories used per capita per day. Money would be replaced by energy certificates, the total supply of which would be determined by the total amount of energy used in the production of goods and services. Every adult above the age of 25 would receive an equal portion of the total net energy used. People under 25 would receive a special 'maintenance allowance.' Like Soddy, the Technocrats viewed with contempt the interest-bearing ability of regular money, so the energy certificate was to be non-transferable, non-negotiable, non-interest bearing, and had to be used within a specified period of time." (http://www.eoearth.org/article/Biophysical_economics)


Attributes of a Technocratic society?

From http://www.technocracy.ca/simp/begin.htm :

There are many, but a few can be summarized here:

A thoroughly scientific method of control of the technology of our continent.

Democratic controls for all non-technical issues and decisions.

Maximum freedom for all citizens in terms of latitude of purchasing power and personal rights

Removal of methods of scarcity economics such as money, debt, value, and interest.

The elimination of political decision-making from technical affairs

Replacement of these methods with an empirical accounting of all physical resources, products, and services (called Energy Accounting).

Productive capacity many orders of magnitude higher than currently possible, without requiring any new equipment.

Decrease in human labor required to produce these amounts through proper use of automation.

Highest possible standard of living for ALL citizens in terms of income, housing, health care, education, and leisure.

Sustainable resource management through conservation and industrial efficiency

Elimination or vast reduction of various social ills, such as poverty, crime, pollution, insecurity, and disease.


More Information

  1. Technocracy portal at http://www.technocracy.ca/
  2. For Beginners, at http://www.technocracy.ca/simp/begin.htm
  3. FAQ, at http://www.technocracy.ca/simp/FAQ_Index.htm
  4. Network of European Technocrats, http://en.technocracynet.eu/index.php?


Key Book to Read

  1. Andrew Wallace. Technocracy. Building a sustainable society for a post carbon world. NET. ISBN 978-9-1633-1249-6 (http://www.lulu.com/product/ebook/technocracy-building-a-new-sustainable-society-for-a-post-carbon-world/15920611?productTrackingContext=author_spotlight_647128_) (http://www.eoslife.eu)